Cat update...loose and flowing hair, just the way I like it. And a gorgeous lacy black frock. Lovely. And the shoesses...Vinny did you see the shoesses???
Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are joined on the panel by Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family. I enjoy his observations. He has a quick wit and a discerning eye for dance without being pretentious.
It's Top 8 this week, whittling down to Top 6. You know what that means? It means we're almost done.
Fascinating group number choreographed by Peter Chu.
Two performances for everyone, a solo and a routine with an All Star. Packed show!
Tiffany leads off the show with a beautiful solo. Sometimes I forget about Tiffany a little bit. But then she dances and I remember how much I enjoy the way she moves. She's slight but surprisingly powerful.
Witney Carson, an 18 year old Latin ballroom dancer, is paired with All Star tWitch Boss from Season 4 for Hip Hop choreographed by Luther Brown. This is the hard core street stuff. Not lyrical. Not story driven. Just down in the floor and in your face from the street. Not really my favorite style. I would have expected Witney to struggle a little with this. But she put on her sass attitude. Nice job. Between the two of them, they flooded the stage with personality and flash. I actually enjoyed the routine because it had swagger with little quirks and bits of musicality that were really cool and offset some of the street stuff that turns me off. And from a technique perspective...yes, there is technique involved in hip hop...Witney had it down. She was into the floor and free with her movement. She added her own style to what she was given and I think that's what made the routine so much fun to watch. And of course, there's tWitch. Outstanding work. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Will seems like such a goofy guy, but when you pay attention to his dancing you realize that he has all the talent in the world. The lines and extension he demonstrated in that solo were tremendous. I say complete package.
Cole Horibe, a 26 year old martial arts fusion dancer, is paired with All Star Allison Holker from Season 2 for Jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. This is really good gang. I got chills watching this. The story was powerful. The movement was unusual and so expressive. Cole's grasp of character makes what he does each week all the more intriguing and powerful. He took what Sonya gave him and created a chilling performance. The way Allison played off of Cole was just staggering. From their musicality to the fluidity of their movement to the seamless way they wove between steps and lifts and pauses and details. Creepy, quirky, unique. Gosh that was so good. Allison is such an amazing dancer, but Cole matched her and together they made the routine. Congratulations to Sonya for creating such magnificent work. This was a close second for dance of the night. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Lindsay dances a riveting solo. I have to keep reminding myself that she is only 18. She has such presence on stage. And she is completely versatile. Latin ballroom may be her specialty, but she can really dance just about anything.
Eliana Girard, a 21 year old ballet dancer, is paired with All Star Ryan Di Lello from Season 6 for Quickstep choreographed by Jonathan Roberts. This is such a tough style for our dancers, but Eliana lucked out. She's got a great All Star to dance it with, and a wonderful choreographer to make the dance for her. And now I'm convinced that there isn't anything that is going to bother Eliana. This was not a classic competition style quickstep, although it had many of the elements in it. This was more of a showcase performance. The choreography suited her right down to the floor. I loved the costumes, the music, the movement. I loved everything about that routine. I think being a trained ballet dancer really helped her with body and core control. I'm really enjoying Eliana now that she is able to dance with partners who come up to her level. She has a confidence that is really appealing and it shows each week in strong, complete performances no matter the style. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Chehon is a stunning dancer. His arc on this show has taken him from possibly one dimensional and allowed him to release the emotion from within and share it. No matter what happens the rest of this season. Chehon will be on the world stage.
Lindsay Arnold, an 18 year old Latin ballroom dancer, is paired with All Star Alex Wong from Season 7 for Jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. I love the movement Sonya has designed for them. They bend and twist and roll with each note and each beat. It's almost like there is a step and movement for every note, contrasted against a step and movement for each word. Did that make sense? The story was in the song, Somebody that I Used to Know. I think there was tension in the way they interpreted the music. I disagree with the judges about the chemistry, because I think the piece wasn't about chemistry. it was only about the movement and the partnership between them. I wasn't interested in any sensual connection between Lindsay and Alex. I don't feel that was the point of the piece. I felt like it was about the technical aspect of the routine, and I thought they nailed that. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Will Thomas, a 19 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with All Star Lauren Gottlieb from Season 3 for Hip Hop choreographed by Christoper Scott. I'm glad Will got to do a solo because it's been awhile since he got to dance in his own style. But with this lyrical hip hop he gets close. I've said it before...he's such a big kid. But when he dances, you don't notice his size. He has terrific extension, but he also dances with a compactness when called for. He danced clean in this piece. It's easy for Lauren to dominate a lyrical hip hop, but she complimented Will instead of overshadowing him. Will was the star of the piece. He was a strong character. He shed the goofiness and threw down a mature performance. And hats off to Christopher Scott for a terrific piece. Well done. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Witney surprises me every time. I need to stop being surprised by how talented and versatile she is. She's just a dancer. Although I didn't care for this solo, that doesn't diminish how strong she has been in her choreographed work.
Cole is such a unique and versatile dancer. I didn't know what to expect from him at first. I'm so glad the judges took a chance on him because he has amazed and delighted me all season.
Cyrus Spencer, a 22 year old animation dancer, is paired with All Star Melanie Moore from Season 8 for Jazz choreographed by Mandy Moore. Now that's a challenge. Dance with one of the finest dancers ever on this show in a style that is completely outside of what you normally do, and make the audience watch you instead of her. This was such a cool bit of choreography. Despite Cyrus' lack of training, he handled his business like a pro. His personality melded so well with Melanie's. They looked like they've been dancing together for a long time. I thought Melanie would pull my focus, but I found I was watching the pair. I was watching the performance. Mandy did a great job of designing a dance that was cool and funky and made optimum use of Cyrus and his talent. He improves each week. He made Melanie look as good as she made him look. Loved it. What a great routine. And no jazz hands...jazz fists!! This is my favorite routine of the night. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Eliana is just brilliant. The lines. The extensions. The emotions. The control. The personality. I think she has it all.
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, a 23 year old ballet dancer, is paired with All Star Anya Garnis from Season 3 for Tango choreographed by Miriam and Leonardo. That was gorgeous. Chehon danced with an effortless grace. And the sensual connection between him and Anya...sizzling. Tango is such a technical dance and his ballet training was really a strength. But you have to hide the technique and make everything seamless. Check on that. The dance was captivating. The choreography had so many layers and flavors...it slowly built through the movement and was interspersed with bursts of color and power. Chehon controlled the dance. He made a beautiful frame for Anya. His shapes and lines were wonderful. Between the two of them, they created a moment. I loved that routine. It won't be often that I pick a Tango on this show as dance of the night. I'm doing it now. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Cyrus...I don't even know what to say. What he does is mesmerizing. I've never seen anybody move the way he does.
Tiffany Maher, a 19 year old jazz dancer, is paired with All Star Ade Obyomi from Season 5 for contemporary choreographed by Mandy Moore. That performance made me smile. The dance was just joy. But there was maturity and depth to it as well. I enjoyed the contrast between Ade, one of the most powerful and dynamic dancers, and Tiffany, who packs her power in a petite package. The music was soaring and so was the dancing. I thought the choreography was buoyant and the interpretation was effortless. Everything was focused between them to maximize the freedom of the movement. I'm out of adjectives and descriptors. This easily could have been so pedestrian because it was two dancers in their own style. But I thought the movement transcended all that and the dance just...was. Excellent work. Click here if the video doesn't play.
What a great show this has been! Every performance was outstanding. It was tough to choose which dances to include in this post, as you can tell because I included all of them. And that only makes it worse that we're eliminating dancers right now. Grrrr.
Results...Eliana is safe. Tiffany is safe. Cyrus is safe. Chehon is safe.
Bottom...Lindsay, Witney, Cole, and Will.
Witney is safe so that means Lindsay is eliminated.
Cole is safe so that means Will is eliminated.
Dang. I like every dancer who is left. And I like the two who are out. They were all amazing this week. This elimination sucks.
But, only 1 guy and 1 gal are going to win. So dancers have to go out until we get to our favorite guy and gal.
Check back next week when our Top 6 become our Final 4.